Teen spared jail after attempting to bite off taxi driver’s nose
- Credit: Eleanor Young
A Weston-super-Mare teenager has been spared jail after biting a ‘terrified’ taxi driver’s nose in a ‘life-changing’ unprovoked attack.
Kane Bennett, aged 19, of Monkton Avenue, on the Oldmixon estate, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Father-of-four cabbie Gary Goodwin picked up Bennett and a friend from Weston’s Regent Street, at 3.20am on November 20 and took them to the Bournville estate.
Mr Goodwin, aged 49, told the Mercury: “After I picked them up, Kane threw a bottle out the window, hitting the roof of my car. I just kept on driving, I wanted to drop them off and go.”
But when Mr Goodwin pulled up in Grasmere Drive, Bennett attacked him, punching him in the face and stomach multiple times.
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Prosecutor Alistair Haggerty said: “Mr Goodwin was doing all he could to fend Bennett off. Bennett shouted: ‘I am going to bite your ******* nose off.’
“He twisted his head in a ripping motion, leaving Mr Goodwin terrified and in significant pain.”
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Mr Goodwin said: “You don’t think someone would do that to another person who is trying to make a living.
“It shook all of my family. How do you act when your dad comes home with half his nose hanging off?
“I have been left scarred and with a crooked nose from that night. Every time I touch my nose or look in the mirror I get flashbacks. It has changed my life forever.”
Mr Goodwin was prescribed anti-depressants after the attack which prevented him from working for 10 days and cost him more than £1,000.
Nadeem Aullybocus, mitigating, told the court Bennett was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of seven and medication had made his condition worse, with possible schizophrenia.
Mr Aullybocus said the teenager was ‘taking steps’ to improve his mental health and had stopped drinking.
Judge Peter Blair handed him an 18-month community order.
Bennett was also ordered to observe a four-month curfew, obey a 40-day rehabilitation order and pay £180 in compensation to Mr Goodwin and an £85 victim surcharge.